GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A Grand Rapids homelessness agency officially opened its second retail store Monday, May 22.
Dégagé Ministries opened its commercial kitchen and retail shop for its Open Door Bakery, the organization’s social enterprise bakery.
The bakery is the final piece of Dégagé’s $7.5 million effort to expand its footprint along Cherry Street, between Division Avenue and Sheldon Boulevard. The bakery’s location, at 144 Division Ave. S., is where the Dégagé main entrance was before the organization’s 2022 reconfiguration. The main Dégagé entrance is now on Sheldon Boulevard.
Open Door Bakery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and offers individual and packaged cookies and cupcakes. All the baked goods are made by women who were or are currently patrons of the Dégagé Ministries Open Door Women’s Center.
All of the purchase proceeds from the bakery go back into the Open Door programming budget.
The bakery sells cookies, cupcakes, cookie cakes and cookie bundles. Cookies sell for $2.50 each or a dozen for $25. Flavors include snickerdoodle, peanut butter ganache, triple chocolate fudge, salted caramel chocolate chunk and lemon cherry dream.
The Open Door Bakery cookies will continue to also be available at a variety of stores around Grand Rapids, including: Johnny’s Café at Calvin University, Forest Hills Food, Horrocks Market, Kingma’s Market, Ball Park Floral & Gift, Frosty Boy of Cascade, Pinky’s Place and D&W Fresh Market Breton Village.
A ribbon-cutting was held Monday, May 22, celebrating the new retail and central kitchen location.
“We feel God’s presence in the Open Door Bakery each day,” said Dégagé Executive Director Thelma Ensink. “Not only do sale proceeds go to support Dégagé, the store and kitchen also employs women who were or are staying in the center. Through this program, we see God transforming the lives of those it touches.”
The other retail location operated by Dégagé is the Thrift on Div thrift store, which opened just one door south of the bakery last February. The thrift store offers new and gently used clothing and artwork created by Heartside artisans.
The Open Door Women’s Center is newly expanded, providing sleeping accommodations for up to 100 women.
“By operating out of its own retail space and baking in its own kitchen, Open Door Bakery is better suited to grow and elevate its offerings,” Ensink said. “We hope that having two retail locations on Division Avenue demonstrates our commitment to building and enhancing relationships with our community, while also helping more people experiencing homelessness work toward a more sustainable future.”
The bakery retail space was designed by Century A&E. Rockford Construction was the general contractor, Macatawa Bank provided financing and The Barton Group was the construction consultant.
To order baked goods online, visit opendoorbakery.org.
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